Video has become important on every platform and on a wide range of levels. It enables people to be easily entertained and informed and is particularly appealing to visual learners. In a 2018 survey, 54% of consumers say that they prefer to see video content from a brand or business than any other type of content. For a small business, video can also give you an edge over the larger brands. A large brand may have to wait weeks before publishing a piece of content due to the need for sign off from many parties. For a small business, you can be much more responsive in your content creation, and get a video out far more quickly. This means that video production for small business is a valuable tool in your marketing toolkit.
Why video production for small business?
Firstly, why should you even be thinking about a video at all?
Video shows potential clients and customers very clearly who you are, and what you’re about. A video builds trust between brands and their customers or supporters. It helps someone see what you’re about and gives them trust in you to pick up the phone. Videos convey in a concise space of time far more than just words on a page or a photo. They appeal to sight and sound, which means that people get to see more pieces of information at the same time. They get to see what you’re like as well as hear you and hear what you have to say.
How can videos help you?
Whatever the approach, the video needs to entertain your audience and pull them in – it needs to leave them wanting to know more about you, not switching off halfway through. This is achieved by being planned in your preparation and ensuring that there is content of value in your video for your audience.
Think about how you want your brand to be perceived. The brand voice and ethos that you wish to portray will help to guide you to the right video approach for you.
The recent ‘Have We Forgotten How to make friends’ from the Campaign to End Loneliness is a recent great example of creatively appealing to an audience, and both entertaining and challenging them to act.
Know your audience
The first part of any communication should be to take a moment to think about who you are trying to speak to, and video is no different. If you’re trying to appeal to everyone the chances are that you’re not going to go very far before you’ve found someone who doesn’t want to listen.
So, who are the key people you need to pay attention to your business? What can you say to them or show them that’s going to make them want to know more?
Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes is a crucial technique in ensuring that, when you do develop videos, that they are being used to say something worth saying. Your audience needs to be given a reason to care, and that quite often comes from showing them that you care about them in the first place.
As a small business, it can be so tempting to feel that you must do everything at once. It feels like a new platform emerges every month, new ways of contacting potential clients, but just how can you keep up with it?
The answer is, you can’t. You have enough on your plate running your business as it is. The key here is to take a few moments out to research and plan, before diving in head first into everything and burning out. Alternatively, you can hire a specialist agency like We Do Stories to provide training or even oversee the production entirely.
Once you have identified your audience, you can work out where they are most likely to be. Think about what social media they use, do they watch YouTube? What platforms are they likely to be found on? By selecting one or two platforms where you believe your audience to be, you can then start to develop a campaign that speaks to them.
Video Production doesn’t have to be expensive.
Video production doesn’t have to be expensive, there are a lot of apps available and free tools that mean that you can get started with your mobile phone. Please see a recent article with tips on using a mobile phone for video production.
Utilise Stories and live video
There are many opportunities for small businesses to experiment with video without costing the earth. For example, the stories and live functions on social media platforms are a great way of inviting people to see a glimpse of your world. In these, the audience won’t expect high production values. Instead, they are more interested in a glimpse of your life and business. Behind the scenes, details can work particularly well on these.
Some Helpful Free Video Apps
Videos don’t need to be complicated, and you also don’t always need an expensive edit studio to create eye-catching content. You can create simple videos using a range of apps available.
We have listed our top 2 below:
Ripl – an excellent tool for creating short videos, particularly for social media platforms. Ripl does have a charged service, but they also run a basic package that’s great for getting started.
Adobe Spark Video – This is an excellent offering from Adobe. Like Ripl, there is a free introductory package or a monthly subscription will enable more functionalist and options.
Be transparent – share what you do.
As humans, we just love peering into the lives of others. For anyone who doesn’t have your life, there will be parts of your life that are fascinating.
Video is an excellent tool for helping to build trust in your brand. Give people a glimpse of your day today. Narrate your audience through a process.
It might feel a little uncomfortable at first but try to get into the practice of creating a video when you’re doing something of interest. The chances are that you’ll have a few things in your diary each week that reporting them would be of interest to a wider audience. Maybe you’re going to a new client meeting? Perhaps you’ve just received an exciting delivery of stock? Whatever it is, an audience may well be interested in sharing that experience with you. The stories function on some social media platforms is a great first place to practice this as these are expected to be more in the moment. You can get yourself used to speaking to the camera and bring the audience in on your journey at the same time.
Explain the process
If you do film a process, it’s a great tip to remember to talk people through it. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What could happen if you didn’t do it? (This question always helps to up the drama in a sequence – what’s the worst that could happen? Or, what would happen if you didn’t do it – help set the scene for the audience). There is a lot of information that may well seem second nature to you as it’s your business, but other people may not have even thought about it and will find it interesting.
Ask your clients
You can say as much about your business as you like, but sometimes people are only going to believe it if it comes from another source. Nothing builds trust in a brand like a testimonial and so why not ask your clients? If your clients are happy with your work, they might just be willing to film a short video testimonial for you.
Why should people watch?
People need a reason to watch. Think about what would be interesting, educational or entertaining for them. Otherwise, they’ll just scroll on to the next one filed with cute kittens (and yes, animals do create far more for engagement than people – a helpful tip when used well).
A few things to remember when filming your own videos
1 – Hold the shot and keep it steady.
There’s nothing quite so disconcerting as a camera that’s darting about all over the place. Try to let the action unfold in front of the camera, rather than allowing the camera’s movement to be the action. To help with this, why not invest in a tripod or a mount for your phone?
2 – Have key questions in your mind.
If you’re speaking to the camera, think about: who, why, what, when and how? These questions can be so helpful in helping you to explain to your audience what it is that you’re doing and why.
3 – Be mindful of background noise.
Particularly if you are filming on a mobile phone, be aware of background noise. If you’re speaking next to a busy road, for example, the chances are that your voice will not be heard at points over the traffic. Investing in a cheap plug-in microphone can help here or try to find a slightly quieter spot.
4 – Lighting.
Before you press record, pay attention to where you or your subject is standing. If the light is shining from behind your subject, their face will be backlit. This is because the phone sensor will adjust the camera to cope with the highest source of light. If the light source is behind your subject, then their face will be in a shadow, and you won’t be able to see their features clearly. In films and theatre, shadows are used across a face to make someone look untrustworthy. For an audience to know that you or the person speaking is trustworthy, you want to ensure that their face is clearly seen.
5 – Eyeline.
This is particularly helpful to remember when you are speaking to the camera – where are you looking? There are a couple tips that can have a significant impact on the way that your video comes across. If you want a direct connection with your audience, ensure that you are speaking is speaking ‘down the lens’ (i.e. – looking directly at the lens). The audience will then feel like they are being spoken to directly. If not (as is often used in the case of case study videos etc.), then you want to position the speaker to the side of the screen and have them speaking about it across the lens. Please find a couple of examples to show these two approaches below:
Across the lens:
Down the lens:
It’s not complicated.
Video doesn’t have to be complicated; it is a powerful tool in your toolkit that builds trust, drives engagement and increases awareness of your brand and what you do. In just a few minutes of engaging content, your audience will be able to see who you are, what you do and stand for, and increase in their trust of your brand.
If you’d like to know more about our video or training services, speak to a member of our team today. We’d be happy to talk you through the options and what approaches you could take.
Creative Director of We Do Stories,
with over 15 years in the broadcast industry, producing and directing prime time television programmes, news and promotional content. Anne now oversees all of We Do Stories creative teams, insuring our content is of the highest standards and convey great stories.